As we enter June, the days are all starting to blur.
Before the shutdown, I spent my weekdays in lab and my weekends travelling, hiking, and enjoying tastings at the local wineries. Now, all of my days consist of much of the same: research, Zoom meetings, a hike, and whatever new Netflix show I’m watching. I feel somewhat guilty because I recognise that there is so much going on in the world but my biggest focus has been my research. I’ve been wildly productive throughout the pandemic, often working 12+ hours a day and making a lot more progress in my research than I anticipated. At the same time, it hasn’t been easy.
The lack of separation between “lab” and “home”, in both a spatial and a temporal sense, is tough. I used to travel between different cities and countries almost every other week forcing me to take a break and focus on something apart from research. Now, I travel from my couch to my desk to my bed, all while working away on my laptop. It’s hard for me to take a break at home, knowing that I could just be working instead. Every week, I tell myself, “I’ll start my days with a walk” or “I’ll carve out an hour each day to read for pleasure”. But, it never happens. I know that it’s taking a toll on my mental health but I’m not sure how to change my mindset. I’m hoping that in the coming weeks, the warmer weather will motivate me to take more breaks to get outdoors and enjoy the waterfalls. But until then, you’ll find me right here by my laptop.